POLICE have confirmed that the bus driver employed to drive the Myanmar’s women’s football team at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia was arrested for stealing a watch.
The 27-year-old man was supposed to be driving the team back to their hotel following their 5-0 victory over Malaysia on Thursday night.
The players and officials were delayed in reaching their hotel following the police intervention.
Police also found that the driver, who was arrested at the UiTM Shah Alam Stadium, did not have a driving licence.
The New Straits Times reported that the man was arrested after police found a Rio-Edition Swatch wristwatch, belonging to a Malaysian team official, inside the suspect’s bus.
Shafien Mamat, the Shah Alam district police Chief Assistant Commissioner, said the initial investigation showed the official had accidentally dropped her watch in the Malaysian team’s bus, before the suspect boarded the bus and took the watch.
“We believe he stole the watch,” he said. “He was arrested under Section 379 of the Penal Code for theft.
“He is also being investigated under Section 26(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for driving without a licence.
“Police have acquired a remand order against the suspect until this Sunday.”
After the driver was apprehended by police at 10pm, the Myanmar team’s return to their hotel is understood to have been delayed until 11.40pm.
The Malaysia Organising Committee (MASOC) issued a statement, in which it said the issue was being dealt with by the police, and that it would not compromise on security matters.
“The Malaysia Organising Committee would like to inform that the matter has been handed over to the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) for investigation,” said the statement.
“MASOC will give its full cooperation to the RMP or other authorities in carrying out their investigation and to ensure that appropriate actions be taken accordingly.
“MASOC also wishes to emphasise that it will not compromise on security matters with respect to KL2017, particularly with regards to the security and safety of the contingents.
“MASOC has also issued strict warnings to KL2017’s contractors or transport operators to tighten its screening process as well as re-screen its drivers and their personnel to ensure that they do not have any criminal records.
“MASOC will not hesitate to take action against them including immediate termination of their contract if they fail to comply with this instruction.”